To achieve virtuosity in performance, the actor must have more than talent – he or she must develop acute mindfulness, an athletic and controlled body, an optimal voice and command of speech, imagination, character, ethics, a point of view, understanding of human behavior, dedication, discipline, and a consistent time for deliberate practice. The master actor must also have a thorough education in other studies, especially behavioral science and psychology, to enable a deep grasp of motivation and personality dynamics.
My teaching method is based, essentially, upon the techniques of our professions’ finest scholars and teachers, i.e., Stanislavski, Chekov, Meisner, Adler, Hagen, Morris, Cohen and Chubbuck, with the inclusion of state of the art advancements in behavioral and neural biology and modern psychology.
The actor must respect and honor the intent of the playwright or screenwriter, and utilize a delicate sense of economy to achieve his or her objectives. In order to create robustly vulnerable characters, the actor must be in tune and available to the depths of his or her own personal, emotional life.
Currently, professional actors are faced with many challenges that require him or her to create and develop their characters very quickly. Often actors are required to audition for a particular television show or movie, or if they are a series regular, are forced to create a complete performance within a twenty-four to forty-eight hour time frame. Consequently, the actor must rely on a technique that quickly fleshes out the character in the most powerful and effective way possible. To do this, I use a systematic framework that works beautifully for quick auditions, while also being ideal when I’ve had the luxury of a four-week rehearsal process for a long run in the theatre. This multistep framework has developed over the life of my education and thirty-seven year career, and has been used with hundreds of acting students over the past twenty years.
It is the actor’s job to fulfill the needs and desires of the character, to do everything in his or her power to get what the character wants regardless of the timeframe of an actor’s preparation, and this multistep framework enables the actor to do exactly that.